Island Hopping, Greece
Greek island hopping. Where to go? When? And how to get there? With an astonishing 6,000 islands and islets scattered among the shimmering Aegean and Ionian Seas, the fact that only some 220 of them are inhabited doesn’t help much with the where-to-go-when-and-how first world conundrum invariably tackled by many a Greek island-hopper. Yes, you could fly. But where’s the fun in that? And why rush? Island-hopping via ferry is an unrushed and integral part of the Greek escape, one not to be missed.
The southeastern Dodecanese islands of Kos and Rhodes are popular, as are the western Ionian Islands of Corfu and Kefalonia. But it’s the Aegean Sea’s Cyclades archipelago, offering Greece’s best and most convenient island-hopping, thats draws the largest flotillas. Named for the circle they form around the sacred island of Delos, the Cyclades comprise of over 200 islands in total scattered like jewels across the azure Aegean Sea between the Greek mainland and Crete. The majority are small and uninhabited with about 20-plus main islands each with their own distinct character. Some are household names with crowds to match. Some are still relatively unheard-of escapes.
Aye aye, captain!
”… a somewhat exclusive destination of unparalleled global appeal, a place-to-see-before-you-die location par excellence. Oozing romance and voguish in the extreme, its world-famous vistas, architecture, and cave house infinity pools have graced the pages of nearly every glossy travel or lifestyle magazine ever printed and formed the backdrop for many a bikini-clad fashion model shoot, (staged) social media influencer selfie, or dreamy wanderlust-inspiring GoPro video footage.”
Image || Iconic Santoríni. Dusk over the village of Oia. April 28, 2017.
”Páros… was all the more charming for what it wasn’t – it wasn’t busy, it wasn’t expensive, and it wasn’t as ostentatious as elsewhere. But it was still sufficiently Cyclades-esque swank and downright seductive, almost coquettishly so. And pretty. Oh-so pretty.”
Image || In the whitewashed lanes of Old Town Parikiá, Páros, Cyclades. May 1, 2017.
”It’s not the exclusive celeb and jet set hangout it used to be in the 50s and 60s… but fabulous gay-friendly Mýkonos is still the Cyclades glamour capital, not to mention its party central.”
Image || Little Venice, Mýkonos, Cyclades. May 2, 2017.
”… one of the holiest sanctuaries in Greek mythology, the island is the mythical birthplace of the gods Apollo and his twin sister Artemis. Today, the fascinating archaeological site on the island, one of the most important collections of ancient Greek ruins on earth, preserves the remains of a sanctuary to Apollo and Artemis and the once-magnificent city… that developed around it.”
Image || Supervisor at the Terrace of the Lions of the archaeological site Ancient Delos. May 2, 2017.
”There is more to the Cycladic island of Tínos than the all-encompassing holiness associated with its venerated Church of Virgin Mary/Panagia Evangelistria and its miracle-working icon. But the hulking form of Greece’s major Marian shrine is the only reason I paid the island a visit from nearby Mýkonos meaning Tínos may be as adept at drawing tourists as it is pilgrims.”
Image || Church of Virgin Mary/Panagia Evangelistria, Tínos. May 2, 2017.
Zákynthos, Ionian Islands
”A now-iconic image… the MV Panagiotis… blown off course during adverse weather in October 1980… sitting pretty here ever since in the middle of a secluded white-sand beach and surrounded by towering white limestone cliffs… it is beyond dazzling, easily one of the most picture-perfect scenes I’ve ever pointed a (zoom) lens at.”
Image || The rusting MV Panagiotis in Navago/Shipwreck Bay, Zákynthos. May 5, 2017.